Why Joey Barton would be a great addition for Derby County

Joey Barton Marseille

The one former QPR and Newcastle player saw his move to West Ham break down this week, but he would be a great addition at Pride Park.

Joey Barton is still looking for a new club after the chances of a move to East London fell through, but Derby County are one Midlands club who could well see a lot of benefit in moving for the outspoken midfielder.

It is no shock to see the Rams rated as favourites for former QPR man after his move to the Boleyn Ground broke down this week, according to Sky Bet, with Derby suffering a huge blow when Will Hughes was ruled out until 2016 with a cruciate knee injury against Bolton.

Sky Sports have reported that there is at least one Championship club who are interested in signing the 32-year-old, and there must be few sides more desperate for midfield reinforcements than Paul Clement as he looks to impress in his first managerial role.

Barton of course was heavily involved in QPR's promotion push in the 2013-14 season, playing 34 league games as the Hoops secured promotion in the playoff final against Derby courtesy of Bobby Zamora's late goal.

That experience would be vital for the Rams as they look to finally come good on promotion after a couple of near misses.

Though Barton has found himself playing deeper than he did earlier in his career, the ex England international is capable of featuring as a creative player who looks to link play in Hughes' absence, as well as being a threat from set-pieces.

Of course, coverage of his possible switch to the Hammers this week underlined how divisive a figure Barton is, and there would be plenty of Derby fans who feel he is not deserving of a role at their club considering his past misdemeanours. But if there is a chance of getting the player in on a one-year deal, allowing for Hughes to be brought back into the frame at his own speed rather than through necessity, then it is a deal worth considering.

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